Jason Hardung

by Horror Sleaze Trash on November 26, 2011


Jason Hardung’s work has been published in places like Thrasher Magazine, Evergreen Review, New York Quarterly, Word Riot, Chiron Review, 3AM, Underground Voices, Lummox Journal, Monkey Bicycle, Los Angeles Examiner and many more. He has been nominated for a Pushcart like everyone else. His first full collection of poetry, The Broken and the Damned, was released in 2009 on Epic Rites Press. He is an editor for Matter Journal. He lives on the front range of the Rockies in Ft. Collins, Colorado with a cat and a parakeet whose feet fell off.

Purchase his book here.


I slept next to her

in the same bed for a week.

Each time I looked over

I became disgusted

at all her lies, the guys she fucked to be a better poet.

“Even my cock doesn’t have that much magic,” I told her. “Keep writing.”

The way she breathed, the nocturnal language she spoke,

the way she kicked her legs like somebody running from home

blamed it on insomnia, never mentioned the Adderall

then would get up and paint her nails over and over

her eyeballs were about to fall from the sockets

and her voice, more metal than bus brakes at 5am.

I couldn’t watch anymore.

I turned the other hip towards the window

watched hustlers in long coats work tourists in Pershing Square,

crack heads strutting like pigeons

scanning for dropped rocks on the sidewalk,

a man wore a garbage bag as a tutu

pirouetting for a god that never answered his prayers,

a Chinese woman crouched on the sidewalk to take a shit

wiping with a brochure a missionary just handed her.

I wished I was out there

where the insane

know exactly what they are.


It’s 1:15 in the morning and I am

holed up in my bedroom.

From the mattress on my floor the oak tree branches

make shadow puppets of an elephant fucking an 84 Toyota Tercel

against the back drop of the moon.

How many times can the heart break

before the rest of the body follows suit?

Without heart, the blood gets stuck in the cock

and babies are born and abandoned.

The doctor says drugs are best for anxiety

and he has to fill his quota to stay in business.

So now I sit here trying to keep my klonopin eyes yellow and open .

I always thought the best cure was to just not give a fuck-

be a sociopath, a criminal, get into politics,

grow a mustache hold a briefcase and shake hands with a guy in a bad neck tie

and I’ve tried that

but the two angels (Jeff Gabriel & Chris Uriel)

grab me by the shoulders like stereotypical frat angels–

the kind in eighties teen movies

and tell me “get over it geek”

like I just got my first period in the locker room

and “being alone is part of life. Pussy.”

Even hermit crabs have lovers, I think to myself.

I may never find another woman

that loves my scars, my temper, my white legs

and she may never find me

unless she happens to land on the branches

outside my window–

an unfamiliar bird

with a familiar mating call–

I’ll be waiting behind the fence

with a pellet gun.


I sit in a corner of a dark room

full of legs and voices, bar stools rubbing oak floor,

new dresses and strong cologne.

Neon beer signs are like rainbows

to my sickness

the slight buzz in my veins.

Hand clasping my drink like an O ring

around a radiator hose,

my crystal ball with my future- a county fair gold fish I just won.

The music is in my head

is mostly violins and the last time she laughed

before she was gone.

The band on stage is just background noise

banging out the pistons of the human machine

while traffic on the dance floor moves like 3p.m.

People hear songs the have at home

but scream in excitement when they hear them in public

like part of them is in the building.

I have stains on my shoes

I never noticed before

and a bug crawls across the floor.

The sunset tonight

was full of armies over the horizon

the clouds the aftermath of a day done fighting.

I should have sat on the mountain and watched

the casualties,

but I’ve seen it before.

A woman that resembles a glitter-faced Gary Busey

touches my shoulder and asks me to dance,

I look up,

“No, thanks I have a bad leg.”

she says, “Are you sure?

You look like you just lost your best friend.”

I respond while I look anywhere but at her–

“Well, I did

but that’s beside the point.”

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